Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 13, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

What is our reputation and to whom should we be concerned regarding our reputation? Last year, I was doing my daily Scripture and I came across a very interesting statement. 2 Kings 3 is the whole context but I want to emphasize on verses 12-14. Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, called upon Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom to go to war against Moab. Long story short, the three armies got stuck in the desert for a full week without water and decided to call upon a prophet and the only one of God in the area was Elisha. And this is where things get interesting.

Jehoshaphat knew that Elisha was a man of God and he spoke the truth, but when the three kings approached him, Elisha did not wish to speak to Jehoram. He told him to go speak to the gods of his parents, Ahab and Jezebel. Jehoram pleaded for a word and this is what Elisha said in 2 Kings 3:14: “Surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.”

This is what stood out to me. Jehoram had a reputation which a true prophet of God did not respect, and yet Jehoshaphat did. The one thing I never understood about Jehoshaphat was why he kept being the ally of Israel. That was the only blemish he had on record. His son married Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, which lead to two generations of wicked kings (Jehoram of Judah, Ahaziah, and Athaliah, Jehoram’s wife). However, Jehoshaphat was one of only four kings of all the kings listed to go through the land and destroy not just all the idols but all the high places where those idols were once worshipped. He had a reputation for serving and living after God’s commandments. When three armies came to destroy him, he did not turn to other allies. He turned to God who gave him a victory without having to raise a sword.

The leading prophet of God, Elisha, the man who followed in Elijah’s footsteps and performed twice as many recorded miracles as his predecessor, respected Jehoshaphat. Jehoram only got a hearing because Jehoshaphat was with him. Had the king of Judah not been with him, Jehoram and the king of Edom would have been lost to the desert. Elisha then provided a miracle for the kings by not only providing water, but the Moabites thought the water was blood.

There are several things that are worth learning from this statement from Elisha. What do the true men of God think about us? Would they see us as Jehoram, or would they see us as Jehoshaphat? Do we have a reputation of living after God’s ways or living after this world? Take note that Jehoram was not deemed as wicked as Ahab because he put away the Baal statue which was in the palace, however, he did not do away with the golden calves Jeroboam had made shortly after the full kingdom was split into Israel and Judah. So he was not as “evil” a king as his father, yet Elisha considered him not any different. Why? He did not turn back to God. He did not destroy the false idols. Jehoshaphat did. He got rid of any worship of that which was not to God.

Now when most people talk about reputations, the main direction of such talks is to not worry about your reputation and worry instead about what God thinks. We should not worry what the world thinks about us. I have dealt with an old earth creationist who claims to be a Christian and yet constantly chides young earth creationists for making him look bad. Specifically him. He is concerned with what his secular PhD peers think about him. They see “Christian” and they picture “young earth creation” and they are not wrong to do so. However, his primary argument is, “What do you think these secular scientists think about you? How will you get them to listen to you?”

My response is this: As a Christian, the experts of this world’s opinions of me are not my concern. Speaking the truth as God clearly stated from Genesis through Revelation is my concern. God repeatedly calls the wisdom of this world to be foolishness, so why should I seek their approval? This old earth creationist, a well-educated man by secular standards, has missed the whole point of what it means to live as a Christian in a fallen world, by being in the world but not of it. He wants a reputation with praise from the secularists. Bad news for him. If he wants the praise of the world he will get it, and that is all he will ever get. He won’t get the praise from God, nor from any man or woman who follows God.

Leonard Ravenhill was a true prophet of God of the 20th century. He often said, “I speak in many places once.” What did he mean by that? He meant he would be called in to preach for a church because of his reputation and because he would preach the truth, often a very convicting truth, many churches would not invite him back. Paul Washer’s most famous sermon was the “Shocking Youth Message.” He gave it to 5000 youths and the host venue never brought him back. Preaching the truth frequently leads to hatred from within the church and without. Isaiah 59:15 states that when truth is hated by the community that just turning from evil will make you prey to the wicked. However, there is something even more disturbing to consider.

There are churches where Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, Paul Washer, and other big name solid preachers will not go. They know the reputation of such churches as not being godly. That is a scary moment. When true men of God refuse to come because they will not put their name and their ministry with your group or organization, it’s often a sign of apostasy. I am not talking about those who cannot make it because of various factors. I am talking about an open invitation and the preacher, who has been with God and knows his voice, will not have anything to do with them. The apostate potential host will often accuse said preacher of being bigoted or close-minded or even scared of listening to opinions other than their own when nothing of the sort is going on. The preacher wisely recognizes what is actually happening and will not put his name in association with apostate groups. When a church or society repeatedly turns away from God, he often removes the voices who speak his truth from that church or society. Woe to any person or group when God removes his hand and his voice.

What is your reputation? Would the Godly be able to look at your life and say, “I want to spend time with you”? Or would the Godly look at you and say, “I must keep my distance from you”? Do you care what the heathen think about you? Would the public be able to look at your life and testify, “This person was a Christian and he showed it by doing this, this, and that”? If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence among your peers to convict you? In all this, I want to remind us all that the only opinion which really matters is God’s. Sound Godly men are not perfect, but it is often through them whom God will reveal his opinion. Everything must be tested against Scripture and when a solid man of God will not see a church or group, that is good reason to be wary of them. Be watchful.

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